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Loy Krathong revellers warned not to launch floating lanterns near airports

Stock image: Flickr/Sari F

Airports of Thailand has reiterated a warning to anyone thinking of releasing floating lanterns in the vicinity of airports. The penalties for doing so are harsh, says AoT, and they include the death penalty!

Aviation officials were speaking out ahead of the upcoming Loy Krathong festival, taking place on the evenings of November 27 and 28. Those who celebrate the holiday will release decorated floating lanterns, known as “krathongs” into a body of water as a mark of respect for Mae Phra Khongkha, Thai goddess of the waters.

However, the festivities can also involve the use of fireworks and, in some parts of the country, the release of floating lanterns into the sky.

AoT has issued a warning that the release of lanterns, balloons, fireworks, drones or laser lights around Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai airports is illegal according to the Air Navigation Act. The authority warns that the act will be strictly enforced and anyone violating it will face harsh penalties.

The launching of floating lanterns has been illegal in Phuket for many years already although couples will still be offered a lantern if they’re walking around tourist beaches around sunset.

The act states that anyone damaging an aircraft in such a way that renders it incapable of flying, or which is likely to endanger it in flight, risks the death penalty or a prison term of between 15 years and life imprisonment, and/or a fine of between 600,000 – 800,000 baht.

Officials say anyone who wants to release lanterns away from airport safety zones is still required to get permission from the local authorities. Anyone planning to launch a drone within 9 kilometres of an airport also requires permission.

Since 2009 it has been illegal to launch a sky lantern in most parts of Germany. In Austria, it is illegal to produce, sell, import, or distribute them. In Argentina, Chile and Colombia it is illegal to launch lanterns, as well as in Spain and Vietnam. In Brazil launching lanterns is an environmental crime, punishable by up to three 3 in jail – Wikipedia

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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